The objective

It’s widely known how using a bicycle is advantageous in traveling short distances for its efficiency and easy parking. Bicycling also opens doors to discovering our cities in an ecological, healthy, and fun way - cities already congested by traffic causing outrageous pollution levels. BikeProject was created as a response to the ever increasing questions concerning alternative transportation. BikeProject is a network of “bike sharing” which offers citizens open access to a number of public bicycles in order to rediscover the simple joys of bicycling. It is a network that can also monitor their hire and return in real time in complete automation.

Ideally, this network could become a public service in providing an alternative to private motor transport, and at the same time an instrument in assisting city traffic planning.

Who is for

In this day and age, relinquishing automobile transport for a bicycle is a practice everyone should adopt. BikeProject is aimed at public offices and private businesses in particular, who would like to offer an alternative means of transportation to citizens or employees. These bikes would then be stationed in strategic locations around urban areas: in the city center, in front of the railway station, in parking lots instead of in front of commercial centers and near areas of public interest.

However, BikeProject also presents an interesting tourist opportunity for the community. The distribution of bicycle passes to tourists on vacation in our cities provides a relaxing and enjoyable means of “seeing the sites;” demonstrating our concern for the local environment and our passion for alternative transportation.

How works

Through the use of an electronic pass, each individual user can take his/her bicycle from any bike-parking stand present in the city and return it wherever they find an open parking space - even in a different rack from the original. This system creates a rapid and flexible network of bikes in the city, where the cyclist utilizes a bicycle for less time than by automobile transport with the added benefit of reduced pollution. He’d be sharing in an alternative means of transportation shown to be faster and more efficient over short distances (bicycles for sustainable mobility). As a result, the parked bicycle will be automatically available for the next cyclist, who in turn will move it to yet another bike-park. Thus the bikes are used temporarily, interchanging among the various bike-parks in the city, assuring that there is always a great availability of bikes in any one stand.

The physical mechanisms

BikeProject is comprised of the following elements:

- the bicycle and the bike-rack parking
- the monitoring and inventory system
- a system of tele-diagnosis.

The bicycle and the bicycle rack parking system

The bicycle is obviously the fundamental element of this uniquely open-hiring system. Each bicycle is anchored solidly to a bicycle-parking column that prevents its theft. It is also equipped with an electric locking device activated by the user who inserts a special electronic card to obtain the bike and to return it. These parking areas make up the distribution stations and the number of parking columns is determined by demand, without any necessary minimum number. Each station has an information sign upon which you can find a map of the area with the availability at the various distribution stations, rules of their use and useful contact information.

Monitoring and organizational systems

Every movement of the bicycles is transmitted to a server that updates in real time their availability in the area. Upon receiving an electronic card, each cyclist is then registered in the server, having inserted his/her personal information and telephone number. This card is distributed for an indeterminate amount of time and can be deactivated remotely at any time at the director’s discretion. The system’s interface supplies us with the user’s personal information at the moment of the hire, giving us a general overview of who is exploiting the system. As a result we can analyze bike movements and study their statistics in order to increase or decrease the number of bicycles according to demand.

Tele-diagnostic system

the project is equipped with a remotely enhanced diagnostic system that allows us to know the conditions of the parking stations at any moment. Wherever there may be a damaged or malfunctioning unit, a remote mechanism allows us to reset the device, be it a single parching space or the entire parking station. The practicality of the tele-diagnostic system allows us to solve problems from a distance. This guarantees a completely efficient, indispensable organization in providing quality available alternative public transportation.

Find your bike

How can you find out if there are bicycles available? Easy! Just go to the website and you can view in real time the available bikes in that moment. Not only that, the members of BikeProject who have an electric card can check their account and their movements at any given time by way of a login and a password obtained at registration.

The personal touch

The bikes, the bike-parking, the parking signs and the electric card are all personalized by means of white Project lettering on a blue background in order to publicize an genuine response to improve city travel and the urban environment.